Not in our pajamas, we can’t

On The Trail Of The Forger

A post today on Wizbang notes some theories concerning the identity of the forger of the Bush memos (discussed here, here, and here on MO). While interesting, this might be pushing the edge of credibility. At least at this point in time. As Dean Esmay says in the comments section:

We are going much further into speculation and may be creating rumors about a guy who is innocent than we did just looking at the memos and noting their flaws.

Seriously: we could be creating a new Richard Jewell. This guy may have nothing to do with it, and excessive public speculation on this could really fuck a guy’s life up–and create some potential lawsuits for some bloggers.

The potential for personal lawsuits aside, this could also harm the new-found respect that the blogosphere is working hard to earn. Earlier I wrote about why the discussion of these documents was different than your standard political conspiracy theory. A lot of the brash speculation I’ve seen in the past two days is back over line into that area.

I think we can speak authoritatively on the irregularities in the memos and about CBS News’ reaction to the pressure. I do not think we are standing on the same ground when we begin playing gumshoe and start positing theories about who did what and why they did it.

And for what it’s worth, I think we need to see side-by-side comparisons of these memos with other documents from that base office from that time. I have made the point repeatedly on MO. I’ve left comments to that effect on over a dozen sites and I’ve written several messages to prominent writers and my local newspaper about it. Why is no one calling for a comparison?

Then we’d know, wouldn’t we?

We don’t even know FOR SURE that the documents are forged. I believe that they are. But I’m not sure we can make credible guesses about who.

UPDATE: Here’s Mr. Esmay’s post on his own site about the speculation. Go read. If you’re blogging this story, go read twice.


  1. I think you got your wish. From ‘ A detailed comparison by The Washington Post of memos obtained by CBS News with authenticated documents on Bush’s National Guard service reveals dozens of inconsistencies, ranging from conflicting military terminology to different word-processing techniques. The analysis shows that half a dozen Killian memos released earlier by the military were written with a standard typewriter using different formatting techniques from those characteristic of computer-generated documents. CBS’s Killian memos bear numerous signs that are more consistent with modern-day word-processing programs, particularly Microsoft Word. ‘ There’s much, much more. Much of it you’ve already seen, but there is new material, including a refutation of CBS’s latest ‘expert.’ It essentially is saying ‘Yes, they’re fakes.